Ekurhuleni fibre moratorium impact

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality recently put a stop to any new fibre deployments in the area. The impact can be significant, says the FTTH Council.

Juanita Clark, CEO of the FTTH Council Africa, told MyBroadband that they have not been given any reason for the decision by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

“This is a gross violation of the rights of ECNS licensees and in complete violation of the Electronic Communications Act,” said Clark.

Clark explained that they have asked for reasons for the decision, and have given the municipality until Friday to respond, after which they will get an urgent court order against the local authority. “We will also consider further steps to recover commercial losses from them,” said Clark.

One of the parties which are affected by the new fibre rollout moratorium is Dark Fibre Africa. The company told MyBroadband that they have been informed by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality that no new wayleaves will be issued until a ‘clear policy’ was established.

DFA explained that their current work – hence where they have already been granted permission to deploy fibre – will continue as planned.

DFA reiterated the FTTH Council’s call for more information about the decision by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

Steve Boiles, Cell C’s acting Chief Technical Officer, said that all their fibre is currently deployed by DFA. “Any impact would be minimal in respect of our planned outstanding fibre rollout to base stations,” said Boiles.

“However, fibre is crucial in enabling Cell C to continue offering high speed broadband services and we would encourage cooperation between all role players,” Boiles highlighted.

Vodacom said that they have not received any formal notification of the moratorium from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. “We will continue to deploy fibre in this area until we receive formal notification,” said Vodacom.

Neotel said: “We are aware of an intention by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality to suspend the delivery of new telecommunications network services, but have received no formal or legal notification to this effect. We will respond appropriately if we receive such notification.”

MTN and Telkom were asked for feedback about the issue, but the companies did not respond by the time of publication.

Trying to contact the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality for feedback proved fruitless.

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Ekurhuleni fibre moratorium impact